Surfer Blood: Pythons – review


Here's a troubling record. On the face of it, Pythons represents an increasingly rare and unfashionable breed, the tuneful indie-rock record indebted to the 90s. Melody after melody jumps out of the speakers, hooks falling over each other. But then there's the fact that singer John Paul Pitts last year accepted a plea-and-pass deal in his native Florida after facing domestic violence charges. And so it becomes very hard not to seize upon lyrics – downcast throughout – and wonder if he's referring to that incident, and if he's accepting blame. "I think we both can see/ Our own gravity is keeping our orbits in place", he sings on the second track. Does that mean he's saying the nature of his relationship with his girlfriend meant violence was inevitable? On I Was Wrong, is he apologising? When, on Squeezing Blood, he sings, "Damning allegations have come to light/ Stapled to the background in black and white", is he pitying himself? Without those questions, Pythons would be a lightweight delight; with them, it feels like an ethical problem listening to it.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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